At present, two Archbishops and 24 Bishops of the Church of England sit in the House of Lords as ‘Lords Spiritual’. The UK is the only democratic country to give seats in its legislature to religious representatives as of right. This is not just a harmless legacy of a medieval constitution but a present example of discrimination, religious privilege and undemocratic politics.

Why is this idea important?

The presence of Church of England in the House of Lords entrenches aprivileged position for one particular branch of one particular religion that cannot be justified in today’s society, which is not only multi-faith but increasingly nonreligious. It is at odds with the aspiration of a more legitimate and representative second chamber and with recognition of a plural society.

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